Alick Macheso

Alick Macheso

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ALICK MACHESO’s long-serving manager William Tsandukwa, who was fired from his job earlier this month, is now an ordinary band member at Orchestra Mberikwazvo.

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Macheso confirmed the development in a rare telephone interview with The Sunday Mail Leisure last week.

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Tsandukwa was Macheso’s band manager since 1998 when the sungura maestro broke away from his mentor, Nicholas Zakaria. He is reportedly refusing to vacate office.

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This is despite clear indications that his services are no longer required at the popular sungura outfit. Macheso and Tsandukwa are at loggerheads over alleged abuse of funds by the latter.

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Consequently, the sungura musician affectionately known as Baba Sharo, has responded by demoting the manager to an ordinary band member making him, if it were in politics, an ordinary card carrying party member.

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Tsandukwa, who is also known as Yellow, no longer has the powers that he used to wield. Surprisingly, he is refusing to stop interfering with the group’s affairs despite boasting on numerous occasions that he has other superior interests apart from Orchestra Mberikwazvo.

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To date, Tsandukwa still claims to be running affairs for the revered sungura musician. This is despite Macheso coming out in the open declaring that he is now managing his own affairs.

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The revered musician has even changed the security systems at their Aquatic Complex offices to keep out the former band manager. But insiders revealed that Tsandukwa is not deterred by the developments.

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Rather, the sources say, he is clinging on as he claims to have a stake in the band. Reports are that Tsandukwa is the one who bailed out Macheso when he was hopeless and broke after his squabbles with Madzibaba.

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But in an interview last week, the sungura supremo argued that he enlisted the services of Tsandukwa after he already got his footing.

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“I started this group (Orchestra Mberikwazvo) alone but later gave responsibilities to others. However, in doing business there comes a time when the assigned tasks become bigger for the trusted individual(s). As the owner, you are then supposed to take bold decisions and relieve them of their duties,” said Macheso.

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“Tsandukwa is there but not in his previous capacity. He can no longer guide the band; instead I’m telling him what to do just like any other band member.”

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The sungura musician said he only had room for people that value the group’s principles. And his old management, he noted, were found wanting in that regard.

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“Others have extra activities which certainly mean they do not have my interests at heart and will not be serious in executing their duties. Divided attention is never good for any business. The band is mine. People come to listen to me sing and watch me on stage. The manager does not sing or write songs so he changes nothing,” said Macheso.

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He added: “It is only me who knows what I need; therefore, I discovered that driving alone is better. Being led by a blind man is dangerous. He will throw you off the bridge and you will have no one to blame but yourself.”

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In a previous interview with Tsandukwa, he tried to downplay the nasty fallout. He instead accused the media and some perceived “misguided elements” within Orchestra Mberikwazvo for plotting his downfall.

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In the same interview, Tsandukwa made it clear that his roots are firmly anchored in the outfit and he is therefore going nowhere.

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“You are very lucky I have granted you this interview, I have resorted to just letting you guys write what you want. It is only in the media that I have been fired from Orchestra Mberikwazvo. I’m still responsible for booking shows for Macheso and managing the group’s accounts including salaries. In fact, I’m just coming from doing so,” said Tsandukwa.

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“Do you think Macheso can talk to promoters and organise shows?” asked Tsandukwa rhetorically. “They only talk to me. That man (Macheso) does not even have a phone. How then do you expect him to deal with promoters?” he added.

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However, efforts to get a comment from him this time around proved futile. He hung up and switched off his phone when contacted by this publication.

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Up to this time, Macheso had never spoken badly about Tsandukwa in public.